- Oxford-AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine is called Covishield in India
- Initially, the second dose of Covishield was given at a gap of 4-6 weeks
- Health Ministry has asked states/UTs to follow new interval of 6-8 weeks
New Delhi: In view of the emerging scientific evidence, the interval between two doses of a specific COVID-19 vaccine that is Covishield, has been revisited by the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) and subsequently by National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC) in its 20th meeting, informed the Union Health Ministry on Monday (March 22). During this meeting, the recommendation has been revised to provide the second dose of Covishield at an interval of four to eight weeks after the first dose, instead of an earlier practised interval of four to six weeks. This decision of the revised time interval between two doses is applicable only to Covishield and not to Covaxin, said the ministry.
According to the ministry, in a letter written by the Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan to the Chief Secretaries of States/Union Territories (UTs) today, he has noted that Union Health Ministry has accepted the recommendations of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) and National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC) and has thereafter advised the states and UTs to ensure the administration of the second dose of Covishield to beneficiaries within this stipulated time interval of four to eight weeks after the first dose.
The ministry further stated that keeping the existing scientific evidence in view, it appears that protection is enhanced if the second dose of Covishield is administered between six to eight weeks, but not later than the stipulated period of eight weeks. The Union Health Secretary has urged the states and UTs to instruct the concerned officials accordingly to undertake necessary steps to widely disseminate the message of revised dosing interval amongst programme managers, vaccinators and recipients of the Covishield vaccine and ensure adherence of the revised dosing interval, it said.
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